Last bit of writing… but before I close, I want to thank a few folks.
Firstly, I want to thank my buddy, Brent, who over a series of really awesome text conversations, after I’d finished the last posted series (about the TYNATOR guys), helped convince me to do more writing. I wasn’t feeling it after the news about the Texas school awfulness in Uvalde. Part of what helped me overcome that heavy sadness I was having a hard time shaking ended up being the act of writing… to escape a bit back into my memories, block out the outside world for a while, and just let an almost stream of consciousness take over. And I also turned off the news. I’ve continued to write some, and it indeed has become very therapeutic in that sense. Thanks, Brent!
ENJOY ALL 12 CHAPTERS HERE↴
Related to this, I’ll also say several more friends took the time after I posted that first series to tell me how much they enjoyed not only the stories but how they were written and for that, I remain very grateful.
Thanks also to the “great 8” – the ones I sent these chapters to in .pdf form as I was publishing on FB to better see the images in context (Brent, Kendra, John B, Susie P, Dano J, Celia R, Candy C, and Dan L.) (This entire series will soon be made into an e-book, with the photos and links already embedded. I will share more info about that when it becomes available.)
If I didn’t do it way back when, let me say it now… I want to thank Thurb for the whole adventure! And thanks also to my buddy, my pal, my Texas bruh, for all the fun chats recently to help fill in some memory gaps. Thanks for keeping that journal!
As well, I want to thank Garner Phelps aka Boz, who also helped fill in some gaps and provided a few great stories. Stevie B sent me a few notes during this time and said something that I too had dreamt about, but wouldn’t have thought to bother anyone with the ask. B mentioned he thought it’d be cool to have us all who were on the trip in a room or on a zoom call to add in their commentary about everything they remember. And yes, that absolutely went through my head, but that’s a big ask and a burden to put on people, so I thought I’d just tackle my memories and if anyone felt like participating, hopefully, they’d chime in.
I want to thank Ali Pitocco for calling attention to her husband regarding my written ramblings. I want to thank Dennis Pitocco for being so incredibly kind and encouraging about my writing, and further, welcoming me into the 360° Nation community group of contributing writers.
I want to thank our good friend, Tony, for letting me borrow his VCR so I could digitally transfer all the Ozzfest shows I had on VHS. I have videos from eight of the nine shows we played, and it’s all been uploaded to YT the past few weeks. Part of the reason I uploaded ALL of the footage, beyond just a show or two to support the story, was so that Lance’s family and friends could see a bit more of him, doing what he loved. I suppose a big thank you is owed to Clay for taking all the videos in the first place! Thanks, Clay!
Last, but most certainly never least, I want to thank my beautiful John who always supports and encourages me in whatever activity I might find worth pursuing, whether it’s writing or bartending or caregiving or drumming or cooking or who knows what’s next!?!
Of course, I can’t leave out you, the reader. Thanks much for sticking with me through this 13-chapter journey. It’s a commitment, I get it… and it’s why I’m so appreciative.
PUMPJACK – The Ozzfest 2K diaries
Before anyone starts on about…“where’s the photos of you with Dime and Vinnie since you wrote enough about having hung with them a few times…” You have to remember, this was 2000, well before iPhones and certainly well before what is now a selfie culture. Sure, phones back then had cameras but suddenly whipping out your phone, like we all do now, to start quickly snapping away just wasn’t happening back then.
All these snaps throughout this story were developed from those cheap disposable cameras and then digitally scanned. When we left on tour, we took a bunch of them with us, so that at any time, anywhere, someone could grab one and start taking photos. Too bad no one did that when the brothers were hanging on our RV. D’oh!
I wish I could have grabbed a snap with Dime somewhere along the way. Some of those moments during that time were indeed incredible to me (which is why I documented them), there were a couple other times I was around him/them where it wasn’t all that special – so much so that I only remember tiny snippets. I was with PJ for another couple of years, flying back and forth for shows and recordings and whatnot. If those trips involved a show in Dallas, we usually ended up at Dime’s, if he was in town. Dime actually gave me his phone number one of those times which tripped me out. I called once while I was waiting for a flight back to Phoenix but he was away at NAMM.
I also got to visit Vinnie’s house once, as it got closer to the summer and the tour that year. Vinnie’s house was everything you’ve likely heard or read about, complete with the Crown whiskey bottle-shaped pool and a hidden room on the second level.
Random memory… The night before we played the Gorge, we camped in the campground where the “other” Methods of Mayhem guy was camping with his family and friends. Tommy Lee was nowhere to be found, but this dude was there, and came over to ask to borrow a screwdriver.
Another random memory… I was at catering one day and ended up sitting at the table where the then-drummer for Godsmack (Tommy Stewart) was sitting eating lunch. I got to chatting him up and asked if they were set to record their follow-up to the self-titled record they were currently still touring on (which came out in ‘98) and he said that it was already done and had been for months (“Awake”). For some reason, that just wowed me as it seemed like during that time all you read about or heard about was Godsmack touring constantly. I just thought, damn, how’d you guys find time to do that? He said, there was no stopping, the record was going to drop in October of that year and they were just staying on the road.
Last thing – number one question I did get asked, shortly after we returned… Did you ever get to meet Ozzy? The answer is no. We were once allowed to say hello to Sharon, and she sort of acknowledged our presence as we were quickly ushered past her.
My one and only Ozzy sighting was this… I think this was at the Gorge, just before Bob and I split to go back to the RV. It’s just before Ozzy is due to hit the stage. Lights go out, and the crowd is screaming. We just happen to find ourselves standing there at that moment. It was a complete coincidence. Suddenly through what looked like a tunnel, I saw a crowd of people coming down the walkway that leads to the stage. As the crowd gets closer, I see it’s about six large men, all close in around who I surmise is Ozzy. Ozzy is draped in a robe with a hood, which he has on, and the top falls over his face and covers it completely.
This is all happening really fast. Ozzy looks like he’s floating across the ground, like a true “Prince of Darkness”, but what I realize is that the bodyguards are so close to him because they’re actually carrying him. When I first saw that, I thought… oh, OK, that’s a bit much.. getting carried to the stage. But then I thought about it, and later understood this to absolutely be the case – which is, that the entire show/tour rests ultimately on Ozzy’s shoulders, at the end of the day. And, if for some incredibly dumb reason, he happens to trip and twists his ankle on his walk to the stage, well, the show’s over… the crowd is pissed, the promoter is pissed, lawsuits, etc., so rather than take that chance, remote as it may be, he’s carried directly to the stage.
Oh yeah… I went on and on about joint-this, getting high-that, throughout the story – but I don’t want to paint a false picture nor incriminate anyone… fact is, half of the crew didn’t partake in the weed activities – Boz, Clay (once, almost by force), Trey, Sterling and Lance (rarely), which the rest of us weed-heads were very happy about (myself, Thurb, B, and Bob).